Roasted Lemon Chicken

Linda Larsen
  • 75 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Ratings (14)

Lemon and chicken are natural partners. I don't think there's a better roasted chicken recipe than this one. The juices that form as the chicken roasts are perfect over hot mashed potatoes or hot cooked rice. The chicken is tender and juicy and full of flavor. The lemon tenderizes the chicken as it adds flavor.

The type of chicken that you want for roasting will weigh, at most, about three pounds. If the chickens you see in the market are any larger, don't use them. Larger chickens should be used in stews and for making chicken stock.

Serve this chicken with some mashed potatoes, roasted or steamed green beans or asparagus, and a fruit salad. This classic and comforting meal is delicious for any fall or winter evening.

If you're serving more than four people, roast two chickens! This fabulous and simple recipe is perfect for entertaining. It's ideal for Hanukkah or Christmas, and great for any winter meal. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
  • 2 lemons, washed
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened OR olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Remove the giblets and any fat from the chicken cavity; discard or freeze for later use. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; don't rinse it, or you'll spread bacteria around the kitchen.
  3. Roll the lemons on the counter with your hand to soften, then prick with a fork, going all the way through the rind to the flesh. Cut one of the lemons in half.
  4. In a small bowl, mash the garlic with the salt until a paste forms. Rub half this paste inside the chicken and then stuff one and one half of the lemons into the cavity.
  1. Add the butter to the rest of the garlic paste and rub the mixture on the outside of the chicken.
  2. Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan, on a rack (you can use sliced onions for a rack for even more flavor) and pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. Squeeze the juice from the last lemon half into the broth.
  3. Roast the chicken for 60-65 minutes, basting with the pan juices halfway through the cooking time, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F, juices run clear when pricked with a fork, and the drumstick moves easily in its socket.
  4. Cover the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the pan juices.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 437
Total Fat 26 g
Saturated Fat 10 g
Unsaturated Fat 10 g
Cholesterol 128 mg
Sodium 1,158 mg
Carbohydrates 14 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 36 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)